Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Joe Bonamassa Interview/ Article

Joe Bonamssa interview - October '05Saturday, October 08, 2005

"The Finest in Rockin' Electric Blues"The Joe Bonamassa Group

Thursday, October 13th
Scottish Rites Hall ( An Intimiate Orpheum Style setting )20th & Douglas - -
Free parking SOUTH of the Hall

with - - - -
The Kris Lager Band & friends - featuring;
Matt Whipkey (Anonymous American)
Sarah Benck (and the Robbers)
Andrew Bailey (Jazz Holes)
Heidi Joy, and
Rollin' Brian Leichner


Mention names like Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin or Jeff Beck and you’re talking about the great blues-rock acts of the ‘60’s. Each of these English acts relied on turn-of-the-century American blues artists like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and later on B. B. King. As Omaha’s music scene becomes a national magnet more up & coming national acts are finding the Welcome mat is out for them too. When The Joe Bonamassa Group headlined for thousands at the ‘05 Playing With Fire concert series he’d already developed a core that embraced the young blues-rocker sensation from upstate New York. By the time Bonamassa played his first area show, opening for B.B. King at Westfair in 2003 (at the age of 23), he’d already been guesting with BB on Kings tours for well over a decade.

Bonamassa’s career began at the age of 14 with Capitol Records band Bloodline. “I record that album when I was 15; it was a month before I got my drivers license. The band consisted of Waylon Kreiger, the son of The Doors Robbie Kreiger (guitar), the son of the original bass player for the Allman Brothers Berry Oakley Jr. and Aaron Davis - son of the great Miles Davis. I was enrolled in two schools at the time of my high school graduation; a school for kids in entertainment and my home town school. I had the option of getting a diploma from my home town High School so that morning we rolled up in the tour bus, I walked out, some people had thought I’d dropped out, but I got my diploma, got back on and drove to the next gig. We were playing all over the world. I didn’t have most of the childhood experiences that most kids have but I traded them for something that was pretty unique.”

When asked about coming back Bonamassa says, “I am so looking forward to getting back to Omaha. It’s been over a year! We had to go out with ‘The King’ (B.B. King) this summer: we had to pay homage to the King. I sat in with him a couple of nights ago, on the last night of the tour, and I’ll tell you what, that man sings so powerfully, he’s always in great spirits, always plays great, always very cordial to his band and to us: that night he had 75 - 80 people on the bus. That’s a testament to how appreciative he is of his fans.” King’s album, ‘Live at the Regal” is one of Bonamassa desert island discs. “Live at the Regal is my favorite album: I just had to wait for my vocal ability to catch up before I was going to record something by B. B. (King). It took awhile. My albums, ‘Blues Deluxe’ and ‘Had to Cry Today’ were back-to-back albums that are the most cohesive albums I have”

So when is the next record coming? “We start recording at the end of November and plan to have it out in March ‘06. But before that we’re going to release a DVD that we did at ‘Rock Palace’ (The Austin City Limits of Europe) in Germany.” It will be the second DVD and sixth album. “We recorded a live show and got the DVD back a month ago. We were watching it and we were blown away by it:. There were only 300 people at the (sold out) show in a tiny room: it’s very intimate. But for the next album I’d like to pull out the old rolodex of famous friends to see who is available and get them on the new album. On the last two albums people were just starting to get to know us and I think this next one will be, boom, here’s who we are and I thing people are going to really dig on it.”

The band can’t help but get better and better. “We’re out about 200 - 240 days a years. Crowds are starting to get bigger and more people are discovering us. It’s all beginning to happen for us, especially in Europe. We did over 100 shows this summer alone!” say Bonamassa. “We have a very loyal fan base and those folks have been talking. The word of mouth is beginning to spread. We usually do about 1000 people a night on our own in theatres and ‘everybody knows my name’ now, it’s very cool.”

Don’t you find that the blues audience tends to be older and seem reluctant to give new young artists a chance? “There’s a group of us out there Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, North Mississippi All Stars, Derek Trucks, Mato (of Indigenous) and a few others; a bunch of great, young players out there now.” Is the problem radio? “A lot of the blues mainstream radio who believe that blues-rock is not really blues, but it is. If you listen to B.B. King he’s got a ton of blues-rock songs in there. We did a song last year, ‘Never Make Your Move Too Soon’ which is a rock track with B.B. singing on it. I think the problem is there’s a sort of a battle being underscored between purists and people that want to see the music sorta morph & change. You’re not going to master the Masters; there’s only one Muddy Waters and one Robert Johnson but it’s okay to try and take all those influences and put them together and make something of your own. I mean Clapton did it in the ‘60’s, the Rolling Stones, Zeppelin, Paul Kossoff (Free / Backstreet Crawler), Jethro Tull, Jeff Beck. They all did something cool and it was based on the I, IV, V chord progression. It’s the blues.” When you play live you delve into some archival classic rock licks in the middle of an extended solo. “Yeah, we play everything from (Jethro) Tull to Starship Trooper from Yes. And it’s kinda weird, in the middle of a blues show, but I’m a firm believer that anyone that likes the blues remembers Yes. They went and saw King Crimson and it’s some of the stuff that I love too. We try to mix it up so it’s never the same changes over and over again. We never want the audience saying ‘I’ve heard this’ for the first three songs and then the next eight are the same-old, same-old. I always want people to be challenged and surprised by what we give’em in a live show.

Bonamassa was on the DVD about Atlantic Record producer Tom Dowd (Allman Brothers, John Coltrane, Otis Redding, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ray Charles, Derek & the Dominos, Eric Clapton, Cream, Thelonious Monk, Aretha Franklin) “If you listen to Classic Rock radio at all you hear Tom’s work 20X a day. I am so proud that my first solo album, ‘A New Day Yesterday’ was the last full album that Tom ever produced. It was so great to get to know Tom; to be his friend for the last 3 years of his life. He was such a wonderful human being. The people who know Dowd worship him but those that don’t, once they watch his DVD, ‘Tom Down & the Language of Music’ find he was a very interesting man.” As a physicists on the Manhattan Project (the development of the Atomic Bomb) to developing the eight track recording process along with Les Paul. Dowd was instrumental in the development of the modern recording process, R n’B, and Southern Rock. “After Tom’s work on the Manhattan Project he was sworn to secrecy. So when he went back to Columbia University he sat through the classroom lectures knowing that he’d proven much of what was being taught was wrong but he had to get a job somewhere. So he started working in a recording studio as an Asst Engineer for Atlantic Records.”

The Joe Bonamass Group appears in concert, Thursday, October 13th at the Scottish Rites Hall, 20th & Douglas Streets in Omaha. Ticket are avaiable at www.etix.com or Homer's Music Stores. Opening will be the Kris Lager Band & Friends including; Matt Whipkey, Sarah Benck, Andrew Bailey, Heidi Joy, and Rollin' Brian Leichner. Joe Bonamassa with www.Bluezine.com artist of the year in '05. Bonamassa's album. Blues Deluxe was album of year in 2004 for KIWR's Pacific Street Blues' Rick Galusha (who wrote this article).

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